Gills exit the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a defeat to Leyton Orient
Shaun Batt’s hat-trick signals a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round exit for the Gills.
Martin Allen made four changes from the side that started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bristol City, Cody McDonald and Antonio German replaced Kedwell and Akinfenwa up front, while loan signing Danny Hollands made his full debut in midfield alongside Bradley Dack.
There were just two minutes on the clock when the Gills fashioned the games’ first opening, Bradley Dack threading a neat ball through to Cody McDonald on the right of goal, but the forward fired wide of the keeper’s far post.
Cody was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring on 11 minutes, after showing his predatory instincts to cut behind the defence and latch onto Antonio German’s looped header. Sadly keeper Jamie Jones got fingertips to his chipped finish and was able to gather the ball at the second attempt.
On 22 minutes Steven Gregory collected the games’ first booking after a shoulder to shoulder challenge with O’s midfielder Shaun Batt in the centre circle. Then three minutes later Orient were awarded a penalty after Cody McDonald clipped the ankles of former Gill Romain Vincelot in the area. Batt took the spot-kick, sending Stuart Nelson the wrong way and his team into the lead.
In the 31st minute Dack’s free-kick, hit from midway inside the O’s half, carried through to German at the far post, the young forward took a touch before sending a low shot goalwards which Jones was able to scoop to safety.
Five minutes later the scores should have been level after German and McDonald broke at the Orient defence with pace, and exchanged passes, before Cody fired a blistering drive agonisingly wide of Jones’ left hand upright.
The home side continued to dominate proceedings but were caught on the counter in time added-on, as Moses Odubajo whipped a low ball across goal from the right touchline, allowing Shaun Batt to stab home his second from six yards out.
Steven Gregory’s first half booking prompted a change of personnel from Martin Allen at the break, who brought on Charlie Allen in midfield.
Soon after O’s forward Johnny Gorman blazes a cross come shot across the face of goal while team mate Jayden Stockley earned a yellow card for kicking a dead ball into the stands. Charlie Allen followed him into the book on 52 minutes for a push on Stockley
Six minutes later and from another quick counter attack Shaun Batt completed his hat-trick. The pacy midfielder latched onto a clearance, ran at the home defence and threaded a neat finish inside Nelson’s far post.
On 66 minutes Martin freshened up his attack by bringing on Myles Weston for Chris Whelpdale and the move brought a goal within seconds. Danny Hollands long through was flicked on by Leon Legge for Bradley Dack to head home unmarked at the far post.
The move prompted a sustained period of pressure from the Gills but with Orient content to sit back, chances were at a premium. While goalscorer Bradley Dack was booked in the 80th minute for two lively tackles in quick succession on Vincelot and Marvin Bartley.
Adam Barrett followed him into the book five minutes later for what looked like dissent at a questionable foul flagged for by the Medway Stand linesman.The Gills continued to press for a route back into the game but it wasn't to be their night.
Attendance: 1,730 (273 Leyton Orient)
Gillingham: Stuart Nelson, Joe Martin, Leon Legge, Chris Whelpdale (Myles Weston 67), Cody McDonald, Steven Gregory (Charlie Allen H/T), Bradley Dack, Antonio German (Danny Kedwell 74), Danny Hollands, Michael Harriman, Adam Barrett
Subs not used: Callum Davies, George Howard
Leyton Orient: Jamie Jones, Elliott Omozusi, Romain Vincelot, Mathieu Baudry, Lloyd James, Moses Odubajo, Shaun Batt (David Mooney 66), Nathan Clarke, Johnny Gorman (Scott Cuthbert), Marvin Bartley (Dean Cox 90), Jayden Stockley
Subs not used: Jake Larkins, Harry Lee